1743 - 1826
Authored a document that declared the independence of the American colonies from Great Britain.
A mild-mannered plantation owner and patriot, he became enamored by rhetoric of self-governance. He joined the Continental Congress where he wrote the "Declaration of Independence," a small document that started a war. Later, he became the champion of such radical ideas as freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Helped found the United States. Became Minister to France and later was the first Secretary of State. Reluctantly became U.S. President in 1801. Died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of his famous Declaration.